Peugeot 308 hatchback - Interior & comfort
Interior is a huge improvement on the old model, but some of the Peugeot 308’s controls are tricky to use
The Peugeot 308 boasts a smart interior that's dominated by a large central touchscreen in all models, including the entry-level Access trim. This allows Peugeot to cut down on conventional dashboard buttons, but the system is a bit clunky to use and tricky to navigate, even with the new graphics for the facelifted 308. You’ll also find some cheap-feeling plastics that you wouldn’t get in a Volkswagen Golf. The GT helps to alleviate some of these cheap feeling plastics somewhat with leather and aluminium pedals.
Getting comfortable should be simple, as all models come with an adjustable steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, but you may find you have to experiment with looking over the steering wheel at the gauges. Passengers will find that they sit a bit higher in 308s fitted with electrically adjustable seats than in cars with manually adjustable versions, which is annoying if you’re taller than average.
On the road, it's clear that Peugeot has focused on offering a comfortable driving experience. The car’s suspension deals with most bumps well, but sportier models with big wheels tend to crash over them. Engine noise is kept to a minimum in the Peugeot 308, but there is a bit of wind noise at motorway speeds.
Peugeot 308 dashboard
The Peugeot 308’s dashboard is stylish. Plastic quality is much better than in Peugeots of old and the 308 gets far closer to matching the excellent Volkswagen Golf in this respect. Peugeot has chosen to mount the car’s main dials above the steering wheel – as it does in the smaller Peugeot 208 – but this setup can mean the dials are obscured by the steering wheel for some drivers. Also, the touchscreen control system can make some routine functions – such as adjusting the climate control – trickier than they should be.
Peugeot hasn’t held back with equipment for the 308. Active Premium gets 16-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control, plus rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, driver’s seat lumbar support and the 9.7-inch touchscreen. In the facelifted model, this also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with TomTom Live updates for the sat nav.
Choose the Allure model and parking is made much easier thanks to front parking sensors, while the folding mirrors are much less likely to get bashed if the car’s parked on a tight street. Based on the Allure, the Allure Premium spec adds Peugeot's Driver Assist Pack with extra safety features, along with keyless entry and an engine start/stop button.
The GT model gives the 308 a sporty look without pricey running costs, thanks to 17-inch alloy wheels, twin exhaust pipes and tinted rear windows. Part-leather seats, a reversing camera, LED headlights and aluminium pedals are also thrown in.
City Park is available, providing semi-autonomous assistance to help you drive into parking spaces. A Black Pack for GT Premium trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, black window trims, a black grille and badges for a more stealthy look.
The Peugeot 308's sat nav is a system of extremes. On the one hand, the spoken route guidance is clear and offers a sensible number of pointers, while the pop-up map directions and a supplementary screen in-between the dashboard dials make navigating a breeze.
You might not get to experience these positive points, though, as inputting destinations is so laborious, frustrating and time-consuming you may run out of enthusiasm before completing what should be a simple task. We also found the system froze from time to time, while at one point it decided we were in a completely different country. Those with access to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay will be better off using their maps instead.
Even if these issues are resolved by a software update at some point in the future, be aware that you need to use the touchscreen if you want to change the heating controls. While this task isn’t as problematic as programming the sat nav, a simple set of dials and knobs is far easier and more intuitive to use, particularly when on the move.
To give the 308 its due, though, the all-round parking sensors (on Active and above) are accurate and allow you to get very close to cars and other obstacles before telling you to stop. This means the 308 can get into tighter spaces than many cars if you rely on sensors when parking.